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WEEK 5 - The Compassionists

Cultivate Love and Compassion to Connect with Yourself and with Others

Positive Health Principle #32

Believe It before You See It

Class #32

In today's class you will learn:

1.  What is cholesterol and how to understand its function

2. What research says about dietary cholesterol recommendations

3. What is cholesterol responsiveness and how you can make better choices when it comes to your daily diet

Enjoy watching a short video about cholesterol, take one small inspired action and work on your weekly worksheets. 

REFLECT:  How much do you believe in yourself?

“Believe in yourself and all that you are.
Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”


LChristian D. Larson


health is

Walk with It!


Remember this: classics never make a comeback. They wait for that perfect moment to take
the spotlight from overdone, tired trends." Tabatha Coffey


Cholesterol! For decades, it’s been demonised as the number one reason for causing coronary heart disease. Most of the evidence, however, was based on epidemiological studies, rather than on randomised controlled trials that show causation instead of correlation and are more structured from a scientific point of view. Interestingly, large trials did exist along with observational studies, but they were simply ignored.


Do we need cholesterol in the first instance?
Yes, we do. Our liver generates about 1000 milligrams of cholesterol a day to make vitamins and hormones, to build cells, help digest and transport fat around the body. The cholesterol molecules show up in two forms. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, the bad one causing atherosclerosis and high-density lipoprotein, the protective one. 


The right metrics about cholesterol to focused on are still disputable. In fact, we still don’t know how to measure it: is it the total amount of cholesterol, the LDL only, the ratio of LDL and HDL or perhaps something else? This area is still open to debate.


For a long time, we have been taught to limit cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrams a day. That’s not a lot considering that just one egg has 220 milligrams. This recommendation started a crusade against dietary cholesterol causing people to cut eggs, meat, cheese, shrimps and even milk. 


In 2015, a systematic review of randomised controlled trials summarised available evidence based on the old cholesterol guidance. This meta-analysis with 2,467 men was looking at the relationship between dietary fat, cholesterol and mortality. Some participants had known heart problems already, and many were at high risk. It turned out that there was no significant difference between the groups in the rate of death from coronary heart disease and no difference in mortality from all causes. 


The researchers concluded:

“Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs.”


These old dietary recommendations are very important as they gave birth to the glorification of the low-fat diet that has become very popular in the next few decades. The evidence that the low-fat diet is beneficial for our health remains weak as all examined groups didn't present significantly different clinical outcomes which is ultimately what we are looking for in any well-designed research. 


In 2004, another study randomised people to one of two groups. One group was given the equivalent of three eggs a day for 30 days, and the other got a placebo. Then they switched the groups. Researchers measured their serum cholesterol level after each intervention period. It turned out that more than 70% of people are so-called hypo-responders to dietary cholesterol meaning, that after eating three eggs a day for a month, they would see no increase in their plasma cholesterol ratios. In other words, their cholesterol levels have no relationship to what they eat.


In 2013, scientists published a systematic review of all studies from the past decade looking at how dietary cholesterol may influence blood cholesterol levels. Again, most of the studies found that reducing cholesterol consumption had no effect on the concentration of blood LDL cholesterol. 


Significant differences were indeed detected, but only in small subgroups of people with a genetic predisposition or family history of hypercholesterolaemia. 


A new dietary guideline is about to be published. A brief report states: “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” 


Take home message.
Research doesn’t say that high level of bad cholesterol is good for us, or that people who are taking statins to reduce their blood cholesterol should stop taking them. Research suggests that perhaps the source of high cholesterol in our blood is caused by the consumption of saturated and trans-fat foods rather than cholesterol alone. 



What Can We Learn from the New Cholesterol Guideline?


What is cholesterol?


Think about 1 thing that you believe you are really good at


Get ready for your weekly session.
In your fourth session you will explore the benefits of practicing self-compassion and set the following intentions: 
1.  Gain more clarity around the concept of self-compassion
2. Find three simple ways to practice self-compassion daily 
3. Start your self-compassion journal
Answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (download No1), and go through the exercises (download No2) before your next session. Evaluate your session in the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (download No3).

1. Please make sure that you choose a convenient time and a quiet place for your Skype conversations.
2. Let the members of your household know when you need time for yourself, so you are not being interrupted.
3. Check your wifi connection and show up on time.
4. If you are unable to attend, you can still reschedule within the next few days before the Monday of the following week, if your guide has a free time slot. 
5. Your one-to-one sessions are an integral part of the Grace School curriculum. It is, therefore, fundamental that each session is in synchrony with the weekly Grace School module. 


All files attached below have been created to support and enhance your learning experience.
These are available for download for the next 7 days. Please make sure that you create your account to answer the questions in the Self-Compassion test (No1), and do the exercises (No2) before your next session.

Use the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (No3) after your session. At the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges. Summarise your week with the Self-Reflection Worksheet (No4).

Your WEEK 5 Downloads:

1.  Self-Compassion test - identify your level of self-compassion (approx. time 5 minutes)  
2. Exercise Worksheet - do the exercises before your next session (approx time 10 minutes)

3. Self-Evaluation Worksheet - evaluate your session and learn from your experience (approx time 10-15 minutes)
4. Self-Reflection Worksheet - at the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges (approx time 10-20 minutes)



If you have any questions, comments or technical problems, please write: and we will be happy to help.

We strive to respond within 24 business hours Monday-Friday 9am-5pm GMT. No personal information will be released or exposed.


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Thank You!

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